Salt reduction yields extra benefits for type 2 diabetes patients

May 11, 2016
Salt reduction yields extra benefits for type 2 diabetes patients
Credit: Queen Mary, University of London

In these patients, a reduction in salt intake led to a significant fall in blood pressure and urinary albumin excretion, a marker of cardiovascular disease. The reduction in urinary albumin excretion may carry additional benefits in reducing cardiovascular disease above the effects on blood pressure.

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK is currently estimated to be 3.5 million, 90 per cent of which have type 2 diabetes. Raised is one of the most important risk factors in type 2 diabetes, with at least a twofold increased risk in developing compared to those who do not have type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance.

The study, published in Hypertension, looked at 46 individuals with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance and normal or mildly raised blood pressure. Patients were randomised either to take salt tablets (5g salt/day), or the equivalent number of placebo tablets (0g salt) for six weeks. At the end of the six week period the participants crossed over to take the opposite tablets for a further six weeks. Blood pressure was measured before entry to the study and at the end of each six week period.

Study co-author Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at QMUL and Chairman of Consensus Action on Salt & Health said: "This study clearly demonstrates that salt reduction is effective in lowering blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance. This is the first time that this has been so conclusively demonstrated and it is important now that all patients with type 2 diabetes or are given appropriate advice on how to reduce their salt intake.

"This study also has public health implications in that it is vital that we continue to reduce salt intake in the UK by getting the food industry to take out the huge and completely unnecessary amounts of salt that they put into our food."

Dr Rebecca Suckling, Consultant Nephrologist at St Helier Hospital and lead author of the research, said: "This study is the first and largest study of dietary salt intake in patients with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance early on in their disease and has shown that lowering salt intake reduces blood pressure and the urinary albumin level, both important risk factors for cardiovascular disease and kidney failure."

"Reducing blood pressure through lifestyle changes is recommended by all national and international guidelines but patients do not consistently receive any advice on lowering salt intake. This study highlights that all patients with type 2 and impaired should be given advice on lowering to levels at least less than 6g a day."

Explore further: Gene study could help heart patients cut craving for salt

More information: Rebecca J. Suckling et al. Modest Salt Reduction Lowers Blood Pressure and Albumin Excretion in Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension (2016). DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.115.06637

Related Stories

America: Time to shake the salt habit?

March 28, 2013

The love affair between U.S. residents and salt is making us sick: high sodium intake increases blood pressure, and leads to higher rates of heart attack and strokes. Nonetheless, Americans continue to ingest far higher amounts ...

Recommended for you

High prevalence of diabetes, prediabetes in China

June 27, 2017

A large, nationally representative survey in 2013 of adults in China finds that the estimated overall prevalence of diabetes was about 11 percent and that of prediabetes was nearly 36 percent, according to a study published ...

Many diabetes patients produce some insulin

June 22, 2017

Some insulin is still produced in almost half of patients that have had type 1 diabetes for more than ten years. The study conducted by researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden has now been published online by the medical ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.